Aaron Jones won't be back in 2024? You may not have realized he's still on the team this year, considering how few opportunities Matt LaFleur has given him.
The unfortunate reality is that this could be Jones' final year in Green Bay. The Packers proved by trading Rasul Douglas that they are in rebuild mode, moving on from a veteran leader who likely won't still be part of the roster whenever Green Bay is finally ready to compete again.
It's a similar situation for Jones. The Packers have to think about their long-term vision at running back. Jones turns 29 next month.
Another crucial part of the rebuild is creating a healthier salary cap. The Packers kept pushing money into future years to run it back with Aaron Rodgers, but they are paying the price financially now. Jones has one season remaining on his deal, but his cap hit rises to $17.72 million. A contract extension would help spread money over multiple years, but all that does is push the problem into the future.
Green Bay would still pay $12.35 million in dead money after releasing Jones, but again, it's all part of the process of creating a healthier salary cap situation. The Packers will still pay a lot of dead money in 2024. There's not much they can do about that. But by moving on from veterans on big contracts next offseason, they can enter 2025 with a lot of cap space.